Gear lists

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A backpacking gear list is extraordinarily useful, and developing one is time well spent. It:

Helps in assembling a gear kit, without commandeering floor space;
Calculates pack weight;
Creates a budget and shopping list;
Serves as a checklist during final pack-up; and,
Is a reference for future trips, especially if post-trip comments were added to the gear list after returning home.

If you have never created a gear list before, start with my Three-season gear checklist & template, which is user-friendly, comprehensive, and neutral to location, season, gender, and experience level. For gear lists and posts with more specific recommendations, follow its links or look elsewhere in this category.

Backpack Hunt Gear List || After the shot: Field dressing & packing out

By Andrew Skurka / October 28, 2016 /

Backpack Hunt Gear List: After the shot For good reason, hunters often comment that, “The real work begins after pulling the trigger.” I can’t understate the effort involved in field dressing an animal and then packing out the meat (150-200 pounds for an elk), in addition to gear. Hunt with a friend — you’ll be glad…

Backpack Hunt Gear List || The shot: Rifle, scope, ammo & supports

By Andrew Skurka / October 28, 2016 /

Backpack Hunt Gear List: The shot After finding game and getting within range, it’s time to take the shot. My equipment: Long gun When shopping for my rifle I set a few parameters. It had to be: Suitable for elk and deer; Light, but still practical for target shooting and the shooting range; Reasonably priced;…

Backpack Hunt Gear List || Before the shot: Clothing, optics & calls

By Andrew Skurka / October 26, 2016 /

Backpack Hunt Gear List: Before the shot With the exception of a lucky outing, finding the game often constitutes the bulk of most hunts. In fact, about 75 percent of hunting trips in Colorado end without having taken a shot or packed out meat. If it were that easy, it’d be called shooting, not hunting. Optics and safety clothing…

Backpack Hunt Gear Lists for Big Game (elk & deer) || Introduction

By Andrew Skurka / October 26, 2016 /

Next month I will be hunting elk and deer during Colorado’s third rifle season. As with my previous fall hunts, this will be a backpack hunt: I will carry an overnight load and have a mobile camp. I’ll be joined by Steve, a friend and running partner. Essentially, we’re going on a conventional backpacking trip in the Colorado…

A backpacking gear list: Its importance and core functions

By Andrew Skurka / September 30, 2016 /

On a trip planning checklist, what’s the most time-consuming task? Making travel plans, preparing food, selecting a route — yes, they can all rank up there. But gear selection probably tops the list, especially for new backpackers and for veteran backpackers without experience in a particular location or season. A gear list will make this process much easier, for current…

Laughable: I started an AT thru-hike with a 4-lb stove system

By Andrew Skurka / January 4, 2016 /

For a reason I’ll share at a later point, last night I looked up the stove system with which I started my Appalachian Trail thru-hike in 2002. It was my second backpacking trip ever and I didn’t know much — and it shows. The entire kit weighed more than four pounds. In addition, I also started with…

Gear List || Winter backpacking stove system for 1-2 people

By Andrew Skurka / December 28, 2015 /

To have water for drinking and cooking when backpacking in the winter, I use a stove system that can efficiently melt snow. My gear list: Relevant conditions I pack my winter stove system when I have no or unreliable access to natural water sources — i.e. less than several times per day, and not necessarily…

Gear List || Stable backpacking stove system for groups & Philmont

By Andrew Skurka / December 27, 2015 /

With a few tweaks, my favorite solo backpacking stove system, The Cadillac, is a viable 2-person setup. But it’s a good solution only for those who are highly weight-conscious and/or who have unreliable access to pressurized gas canisters. Another go-to setup, Fast & Light, could also be used as a group stove, but for large pots…

Gear List || Premium & ultralight backpacking alcohol stove system

By Andrew Skurka / December 18, 2015 /

Between 2006 and April 2015, I made over one-thousand meals and hot drinks with The Dirtbag. Clearly, that system works. But it’s also imperfect. I was particularly tired of its poor performance in non-calm air; its unreliable stability was not a winning quality, either. So I upgraded to The Cadillac, and I don’t foresee going…

Gear List || DIY, ultralight & cheap backpacking alcohol stove system

By Andrew Skurka / November 29, 2015 /

Before I upgraded this year, the Dirtbag had been my go-to 3-season backpacking stove system. I used it for the length of the Great Western Loop, during the non-winter portions of the Alaska-Yukon Expedition, and for hundreds of nights on shorter outings and guided trips. The stove and windscreen are DIY, and the system is…